FIFA World Cup 2022: Opening the tournament with fireworks and celebration – National

Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman bring a yellow gloved hand to a FIFA World Cup The ambassador suffers from a rare spinal disorder in an image representing the inclusion of a country facing international criticism for its human rights record.

It was not the most important moment of the seven-show World Cup opening ceremony on Sunday before the host country’s game. Cata and Ecuador. The loudest cheers were given to the Middle Eastern and African leaders watching from their luxurious suites at the Bedouin-inspired Al Bayt Stadium.

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In fact, it was Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani who received loud applause during a brief speech in Arabic from the room.

“We worked hard, along with many people, to make it one of the most successful tournaments,” he said. “We have put in our best efforts and investments for the benefit of all of humanity.”

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He sits between FIFA president Gianni Infantino and his father, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who won the World Cup for the tiny gulf nation 12 years ago.

“How beautiful it is when people put aside what divides them to celebrate their diversity and bring them together at the same time,” said Sheikh Tamim, his words translated into English. on the video screen inside the stadium.

“I wish all the participating teams a great football performance, high sportsmanship and a time filled with joy, excitement and enjoyment for all of you,” he said. next. “And let the days be inspired with kindness and hope.”

Then he said, “I salute you and wish you all good luck,” in the only words spoken in English.

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FIFA World Cup: LGBTQ+ treatment raises concerns over human rights record

Sheikh Hamad, considered the modernizer of Qatar during his 18 years in power, delighted the crowd even more by signing autographs on the official World Cup jersey given to him by his son. Then he held the shirt up in front of the crowd.

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Qatar, home to 3 million people, mostly migrant workers, has spent more than $200 billion preparing for the World Cup. Seven new stadiums have been built, including the 60,000-seat Al Bayt Stadium in northern Doha.

The opening ceremony aims to introduce Qatar to the world through its culture with the theme of “bridging the gap”. Creative director Ahmad Al Baker wanted the ceremony to represent “a gathering of all humanity, an invitation to collaborate as one, bridging all differences with humanity, respecting and integrating.”

Sheikh Tamim said: “We have finally arrived at the opening day, the day you have been eagerly waiting for. “We will be watching, and with us the whole world, God willing, the great football festival, in this spacious atmosphere for communication between people and civilization.

“People of different races, nationalities, creeds and orientations will gather in Qatar and around screens on all continents to share the same exciting moments.”

His words made an impression when Sheikh Tamim was joined in the stadium auditorium along with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, two leaders who had boycotted Qatar in the past. many years. The leaders of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, two other countries participating in the boycott, were not present.

No major Western leaders attended as Qatar is under close scrutiny over its treatment of migrant workers preparing for the World Cup, as well as the LGBTQ community. Gay and lesbian sex is criminalized in Qatar.

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But among those attending the opening match were UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Senegalese President Macky Sall, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

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The crown prince of Kuwait arrived, along with the director general of the World Health Organization and the president of Djibouti. Also present was King Abdullah II of Jordan.

They listened to BTS’s Jung Kook, while Qatari singer and producer Fahad Al Kubaisi released the single “Dreamers,” which was produced specifically for the World Cup.

It was followed by comments from Infantino, who spoke in Arabic, Spanish and finally English to officially open the tournament.

“Dear friends, welcome, welcome to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022,” Infantino said in English. “Welcome to football because football unites the world. And now let’s salute the teams and start the show.”

When Tiesto’s “The Business” played on the loudspeakers, Qatar and Ecuador stepped onto the pitch and the World Cup officially began.

Qatar became the first host country to lose its opening match in the 92-year history of the World Cup.

Qatar entered the global arena for the first time as the host country, but that didn’t stop Ecuador captain Enner Valencia, who scored both goals in the first half.

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